Horn Teaching at the Paris Conservatoire, 1792 to 1903 : The Transition from Natural Horn to Valved Horn book cover
1st Edition

Horn Teaching at the Paris Conservatoire, 1792 to 1903
The Transition from Natural Horn to Valved Horn

  • Available for pre-order on December 19, 2022. Item will ship after January 9, 2023
ISBN 9780367553821
January 9, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
278 Pages 91 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The transition from the valveless natural horn to the modern valved horn in 19th-century Paris was different from similar transitions in other countries. While valve technology was received happily by players of other members of the brass family, strong support for the natural horn, with its varied color palette and virtuoso performance traditions, slowed the reception and application of the valve to the horn.

Using primary sources including Conservatoire method books, accounts of performances and technological advances, and other evidence, this book tells the story of the transition from natural horn to valved horn at the Conservatoire, from 1792 to 1903, including close examination of horn teaching before the arrival of valved brass in Paris, the initial reception and application of this technology to the horn, the persistence of the natural horn, and the progression of acceptance, use, controversies, and eventual adoption of the valved instrument in the Parisian community and at the Conservatoire.

Active scholars, performers, and students interested in the horn, 19th-century brass instruments, teaching methods associated with the Conservatoire, and the intersection of technology and performing practice will find this book useful in its details and conclusions, including ramifications on historically-informed performance today.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction

Overview of the Problem

The Structure of this Book

Chapter 2 Early Horn Tutors in France, the Formation of the Conservatoire, and the Conservatoire’s First Horn Teachers

Mid- to Late Eighteenth-Century Horn Tutors in France

The Formation of the Conservatoire

Horn Teaching at the Conservatoire 1802-1842

Summary of Teaching Methods and the State of Horn Playing in Paris, 1830

Backdrop for Music in Paris and at the Conservatoire in 1830

Chapter 3 Valved Brass Instruments in Paris

The Arrival and Application of Valve Technology in France

Horn parts in Halévy’s La Juive

Hector Berlioz and his Traité d’instrumentation

A Word on Further Developments in Valve Technology in Germany

Chapter 4 Hand and Valve: Joseph-Émile Meifred, Jacques-François Gallay and Horn Teaching at the Conservatoire 1833-1863

Joseph-Émile Meifred

Meifred’s Méthode

Gallay and the Natural Horn at the Conservatoire 1833-1863

Chapter 5 Other Valved Horn Activity in Paris: Two Valves or Three?

Georges Kastner

Donatien Urbin

Other Parisian Valved Horn Methods in the 1840s

Chapter 6 Late Nineteenth-Century Developments at the Conservatoire

Mohr, Gallay’s Successor

The Valved Horn in Paris in the 1860s, 1870s, and 1880s

Garigue, Chaussier, and the Panel Comparison of 1891

François Brémond and the Final Transition to Valved Horn


Chapter 7 Applications to Performing Practices and Hand and/or Valve Today

The Aesthetics of Stopped Notes

The Natural Horn, Stopped Notes, and Musicality

The Valved Horn Conundrum

Performing Practices for Valved Horn



Appendix 1: Foreign Language Quotations

Appendix 2: Writings and Compositions of Joseph-Émile Meifred

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Dr Jeffrey Snedeker has taught in the Music Department of Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington, since 1991. Jeff is active in several national and international organizations, serving on the Board of Directors of the Historic Brass Society, the Washington Music Educators Association Advisory Board (elected to two terms as Higher Education Curriculum Officer), and the Advisory Council of the International Horn Society. Jeff currently serves as Principal Horn with the Yakima Symphony. Jeff has published over 50 articles on a variety of musical topics in scholarly and popular journals, including seven entries in the second edition of The New Grove Dictionary.


'The book is very well researched, very well written and will be a substantial contribution to the history of the horn. In structure and scope, this book goes deeper into the history of the horn in France in the nineteenth century than anything written previously. Highly recommended.’

Professor Richard Seraphinoff, IU Jacobs School of Music, USA